In filling the can let the fruit come to the top; then run the spoon-handle down on all sides to let out the air; pour in juice till it runs over freely, and screw the top down at once, using a towel to protect the hand. Set at once in a dish-pan of water, as this prevents the table being stained by juice, and also its hardening on the hot can. Proceed in this way till all are full; wipe them dry; and, when cold, give the tops an additional screw, as the glass contracts in cooling, and loosens them. Label them, and keep in a dark, cool closet. When the fruit is used, wash the jar, and dry carefully at the back of the stove. Wash the rubber also, and dry on a towel, putting it in the jar when dry, and screwing on the top. They are then ready for next year’s use. Mason’s cans are decidedly the best for general use.
For all small fruits allow one-third of a pound of sugar to a pound of fruit. Make it into a sirup with a teacup of water to each pound, and skim carefully. Throw in the fruit, and boil ten minutes, canning as directed. Raspberries and blackberries are best; huckleberries are excellent for pies, and easily canned. Pie-plant can be stewed till tender. It requires half a pound of sugar to a pound of fruit.
For peaches, gages, &c, allow the same amount of sugar as for raspberries. Pare peaches, and can whole or in halves as preferred. Prick plums and gages with a large darning-needle to prevent their bursting. In canning pears, pare and drop at once, into cold water, as this prevents their turning dark.
Always use a porcelain-lined kettle, and stir either with a silver or a wooden spoon,—never an iron one. Currants are nice mixed with an equal weight of raspberries, and all fruit is more wholesome canned than in preserves.
Unless very plenty, it is cheaper to buy these in the tins. Pour on boiling water to help in removing the skins; fill the preserving kettle, but add no water. Boil them five minutes, and then can. Do not season till ready to use them for the table. Okra and tomatoes may be scalded together in equal parts, and canned for soups.
Preserves are scarcely needed if canning is nicely done. They require much more trouble, and are too rich for ordinary use, a pound of sugar to one of fruit being required. If made at all, the fruit must be very fresh, and the sirup perfectly clear. For sirup allow one teacup of cold water to every pound of sugar, and, as it heats, add to every three or four pounds the white of an egg. Skim very carefully, boiling till no more rises, and it is ready for use. Peaches, pears, green gages, cherries, and crab-apples are all preserved alike. Peel, stone, and halve peaches, and boil only a few pieces at a time till clear. Peel, core, and halve pears. Prick plums and gages several times. Core crab-apples, and cut half the stem from cherries. Cook till tender. Put up when cold in small jars, and paste paper over them.